Nutrition for the Cardio Workout

So this morning, I sat down at the computer, and began stumbling across the internet, exploring nooks and crannies of the web that may have otherwise been left untouched. Before long a cool page from Food Network popped up, and I got to thinking. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the past blogging about crossfit, and how intense and rewarding it can be. But that doesn’t mean that its not worth discussing the virtues of a simple approach to fitness. That’s what it is. It’s fun to discuss these things, the simple rigidity, the science of it all. There are tons of resources on the internet devoted to this kind of thing. One of my favorite things to do is look at is how certain foods fuel the body and can be used as a source of energy. Luckily, there are tons of sources on the web devoted to this very thing. This Food Network post was just that. It examined pre-cardio workout eating tips and identified several foods to optimize the cardio experience.


The post opens by reminding us that fats and carbohydrates are integral to a healthy cardio workout. This is because these two nutrients serve as the body’s main source of energy during such workouts. Because the body draws from both during the course of exercise, it’s necessary to have adequate reserves of both on hand. Remember, the best carbs come from whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies, and dairy. Fats, on the other hand, are best acquired from foods like olive oils, nuts, and avocados.


We’re also reminded that carbs should form the bulk of a pre-workout meal. However, because they can take a while to digest, they should be consumed a good amount of time before you start cardio training. Three to four hours ahead of time, indulging in a full and balanced meal may be a good idea, but if you have under an hour to get ready, you should consider going for a lighter kind of snack, such as non-fat yoghurt, granola bars, pretzels, and a few cuts of fresh fruit.


And after the workout? The Food Network has you covered there, too. Because it’s prime time for restocking all of those energy sources, you should try to have a solid meal if it’s been about four hours since your last repast. If it hasn’t, though, gun for a snack that’s full of protein to help renew those muscles. Opt for a pint of chocolate milk, a protein bar, pita chips + hummus, or turkey and whole grain bread.


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